How Time-locked Bitcoins Could Incentivize Smooth Hard Forks

Could Time-locked Bitcoins Incentivize Hard Forks?Could Time-locked Bitcoins Incentivize Hard Forks?

There’s been a lot going on as far as development goes with the latest alternative clients and the Segwit2x plan also known as BTC1 on Github. One particular subject that came up on the BTC1 repository was the idea to incentivize the development community with time-locked bitcoins to smoothly activate a hard fork.

Also read: The Bitcoin Scaling Countdown: Miners Begin Running Segwit2x Software

Time-locked Incentive for a Bitcoin Hard Fork

Could Time-locked Bitcoins Incentivize Hard Forks?Could Time-locked Bitcoins Incentivize Hard Forks?
Chain engineer Oleg Andreev.

The hard fork has gotten a bad name over time mostly because of the contentious fork that took place with the Ethereum network. Hard forks aren’t forward-compatible, which means that the entire ecosystem of miners, wallet providers, exchanges, and merchants need to upgrade to the new code. The Segwit2x plan aims to activate Segregated Witness (Segwit) and follow up with a hard fork a few months down the line.

This week Oleg Andreev, product architect of the blockchain network company Chain introduced Issue #72 to the Github repo called “Time-locked incentive for Bitcoin hard fork.” The scheme Andreev says is to incentivize the community with coins that cannot be spent for a period of time until after the completion of a successful hardfork. The idea comes at a time when Segwit2x offers a compromise of both Segwit and a 2MB hard fork, but the problem is some people think the second part of the agreement won’t be fulfilled.    

“It is well-known that cryptocurrency development can be incentivized by long-term time-locked coins,” explains Andreev. “Meaning, that the coins cannot be spent in the peak of a bubble, or right before a disaster that was not prevented or worked around. For instance, Greg Maxwell claims that Blockstream uses such scheme.”

What Are Time-locked Bitcoins?

Time-locked bitcoins cannot be spent until a specified time or block height by using a distributed contract recorded on the blockchain. Over the years there have been added improvements to this type of time-locking infrastructure with code development like Check-Lock-Time-Verify, Relative locktime, and Check-Sequence-Verify. Bitcoin luminary and author Andreas Antonopoulos discusses the subject of time-locked bitcoins in his book “Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain.” Moreover, in 2016 Thomas McCabe gave instructions on how he successfully spent a time-locked bitcoin transaction.

“Bitcoin’s scripting language is very powerful, but access to resources with regards to learning how to build a script is scarce,” details McCabe.

Could Time-locked Bitcoins Incentivize Hard Forks?

Could Time-locked Bitcoins Incentivize Hard Forks?

‘Measuring the Amount of “Skin in the Game” to Gauge Responsibility’

Chain engineer Andreev believes this technology could smooth the process of completing a successful hard fork.

“Considering that any hard fork by definition carries an increased systemic risk: from producing chain splits inadvertently (due to overlooked software incompatibility), to splitting the market and shattering the faith in the technology and perspectives of our social experiment.”

It makes sense to introduce a special kind of time-locked incentives that get unlocked only on a hard-forked chain. Such incentives allow community to measure the amount of “skin in the game” to gauge the responsibility of the people behind a hard fork proposal.

Forward Compatibility

Andreev gives specifications to his idea, and a few other developers including Jeff Garzik thought the concept was interesting. Additionally, Andreev’s proposal offers forward compatibility and “the code is expected to be modified to preserve the spirit of the proposal for the future hard forks,” explains the developer. Adding an incentive to smoothly activate a fork or fund bitcoin development, in general, is a unique concept but it’s likely this plan won’t be included in the Segwit2x working group’s current roadmap. There are multiple comments and suggestions made by developers that won’t make the final cut including funny ones like finding the Mt Gox missing bitcoins.

What do you think about incentivizing hard forks with time locked bitcoins? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Github, and Bitcoin.com. 


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Article source: https://news.bitcoin.com/how-time-locked-bitcoins-could-incentivize-smooth-hard-forks/

Bitcoin surges as miners avert split for now

Bitcoin prices surged this week as an overwhelming majority of miners, the computer operators who maintain its network, backed a software upgrade that will boost the speed of processing transactions, likely averting a split that could have resulted in multiple versions of the digital currency.

Through an online voting mechanism, miners representing 99% of the cryptocurrency’s computing power, backed a new piece of software, known as Segregated Witness, or SegWit, that would boost bitcoin’s processing power without altering the underlying software, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

See: Bitcoin may have reached a tipping point, now that ‘Downtown’ Josh Brown has invested

The debate leading up to the vote marked a split that largely pitted miners and entrepreneurs, who wanted to increase block size and maximize bitcoin’s value as a payments network, versus developers who fear larger block sizes will increase operating costs for miners, driving some out and leading to more centralized control, wrote the Journal’s Paul Vigna.

Bitcoin prices dipped early this week on fears over a potential split. Bitcoin

BTCUSD, +7.81%

One bitcoin traded at $2,813 at midday Saturday, according to Coinbase, up nearly 40% on the week. 

Article source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-surges-as-miners-avert-split-for-now-2017-07-22

How Bitcoin And Classic Cars Make Investors Multi-millionaires

Shutterstock

Classic cars and Bitcoins are hard to compare. But they have a couple of things in common: They are both scarce, and very much sought by a crowd of enthusiasts and adventurous investors.

When taken together, scarcity and enthusiasm can deliver astronomical returns over time.

Here are a few statistics compiled by MoneySuperMarket that confirm the relationship between scarcity and investor returns on classic cars:

1.     Ferrari 250 GTO – Built in 1962, only 36 were made. This one, made specifically for Formula One racer Sir Stirling Moss, sold for a stunning $38,115,000 in 2012.

2.     Mercedes Benz W196 – A former Formula One frequenter, the 1954 W196 won 9 of the 12 races it entered, and justly earned its seller $29,600,000 in 2013.

3.     Jaguar D-Type – A conqueror of Le Mans in 1955, 56, and 57, the Jaguar D-Type would be hard to miss even without the eye-watering price tag of $21,780,000, recorded at auction in August 2016.

Apparently, all three classic cars made their early owners multi-millionaires. 

“Car collecting is a strong industry – both for enthusiasts and for those looking to make a smart investment,” said a MoneySupermarket.com spokesperson. “Keeping track of which cars sell for the most year-by-year is a great way for both sides to make sure they come away from auctions satisfied – and for car lovers to keep an eye on their dream cars!”

Bitcoin “collecting” is a strong industry, too, making some investors multi-millionaires quickly, very quickly. At least investors who poured money into the digital currency when it was trading at a tiny fraction of its current price.  

Source: Finance.yahoo.com 7/20/2017

Like in the car collecting industry, there’s a limited supply. And there’s plenty of hype about cryptocurrencies and the promises they hold for solving the ills of the global economy.

Still, hype should never be a substitute for due diligence. With high returns come high risks that can result in hefty losses. Especially for those investors who join in the game last stage, when it turns into mania.



My recent book The Ten Golden Rules Of Leadership is published  by AMACOM, and can be found here. 

Article source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2017/07/22/how-bitcoin-and-classic-cars-make-investors-multi-millionaires/

Sharing the spirit of Ubuntu on Nelson Mandela International Day

Every year, to celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day (July 18), the South African High Commission takes up the mantle to give back to the local community, and this year was no different.

Commemorating the birthday of Mandela this year the high commission journeyed to the Newcombe Valley Primary School in St Elizabeth with state minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, to spend 67 minutes of goodwill in honour of the 67 years that Mandela spent fighting for social justice and democracy.

The theme for 2017 was ‘Action Against Poverty’ and the high commission painted, told stories, fed and played with the students in the spirit of ‘Ubuntu’ as chargÈ d’Affaires in the high commission, Phillip Riley, describes it.

“All present are making their own very special contribution towards the creation of a better Jamaica in a better world and in so doing, you are displaying the spirit of ‘Ubuntu’, the uniquely African belief that there are inherent value and dignity in every human being regardless of past, present or future circumstance. Ubuntu also recognises that there is unity in diversity,” he said.

It was a rewarding day spent celebrating a great legend and the country’s first black head of state.

Article source: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/social/20170721/sharing-spirit-ubuntu-nelson-mandela-international-day

Crypto Asset Class Clears $90 Billion as Bitcoin Price Spikes

Spurred by a massive uptick in the price of bitcoin, the total value of all cryptocurrencies passed $90 billion yesterday, a high not observed since early July.

With the move, the market capitalization of the asset class is again advancing toward $100bn, a figure it first exceeded in June when it reached an all-time high of $115bn.

At press time, the market is valued at just over $94 billion.

Still, it remains to be seen how much of that capital will remain given the rapid escalation observed in the price.

On Thursday, the price of bitcoin increased from just under $2,500 to a high of $2,889 amid an increasingly positive outlook for its technology development, analysts said.

Data from Coinmarketcap indicates the market capitalization of the digital asset increased accordingly, rising to $46 billion, from an opening figure of $37.9 billion.

Despite the rising bitcoin price, however, other assets have been performing strongly.

At publication, nine of the top 10 cryptocurrencies were showing gains, with only one, ether, showcasing a slight 24-hour decline. The figures further suggest an influx of largely new capital into bitcoin, rather than investors repositioning prior investments.

Roulette image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at [email protected].

Article source: http://www.coindesk.com/crypto-asset-class-clears-90-billion-bitcoin-price-spikes/

New NFD club Ubuntu has strong grassroots Links

Although he is a former Bafana Bafana captain, Links faces his biggest challenge as a coach after being placed in charge of new Cape NFD club, Ubuntu Cape Town.

The football face in the Mother City is changing. The old look, featuring traditional clubs which were almost indigenous to the region, is fading. Vibrant, ambitious new clubs are determined to grab a foothold in a market that is desperate for something new, something different.

Last year, Cape Town City did so in the top-flight PSL. Now, there’s a new kid on the block in the lower-tier NFD, with the arrival of Ubuntu.

Earlier this month, the Ubuntu Football Trust purchased FC Cape Town – and the new club will soon test the waters in the professional ranks. Michael Jenkins, a co-director at Ubuntu, gave some insight into the club.

“The Ubuntu Football Academy started in 2011 and for the past seven years it has been working with Fish Hoek FC as the grassroots partner,” said Jenkins. “It is a non-profit organisation, which also includes a schools mentorship programme. It has about 90 youth players from Under-12 upwards.

“We recognised that the final development stage of an aspiring footballer is exposure to the professional game.

“We always had an eye on getting into this sphere of the sport. So when the opportunity arrived to purchase the NFD franchise of FC Cape Town, we grabbed it. It provides us with a professional platform and the chance to implement our vision.”

Ubuntu use the Athletes’ Development Centre at Villager Rugby Club in Brookside, Claremont, for their conditioning and sports science needs, and train at the Groote Schuur High Sports Complex.

Links has mostly worked in youth football, at the Old Mutual Academy and Ajax Cape Town. His top-level experience was as Roger de Sa’s assistant at Ajax. Now Links has an opportunity to make his mark as a head coach.

“We inherited 14 players from FC Cape Town and we are in the process of adding to the squad,” added Jenkins. “We have signed Bukhosi Sibanda, who was the top scorer in the Zimbabwe Premier League, while we are also excited to have Ethan Sampson returning to Cape Town. Ethan came through the African Soccer Development Academy in the Cape and played for Vancouver Whitecaps in the American MLS.

“We will also be promoting a few of our own youngsters. It is an opportunity for them to develop, though we are aware of the need to bring them on slowly rather than throw them in at the deep end.”

Considering the difficulty of the competitive NFD, what are Ubuntu expecting from their debut season?

“We are not thinking about promotion at this stage,” said Jenkins. “The focus is on people, process and structure. We want to be competitive, but the top priority at the moment is to get the structures right. We want to make sure that we build the right foundation and, I think if we get success with the process and the people, and we build the right culture, we could even surprise ourselves.”

Ubuntu will be joined in the NFD by three other Cape representatives, Cape Town All Stars, Milano United and Stellenbosch FC. Santos were relegated from the league last season.

Cape Times

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Article source: http://www.iol.co.za/sport/soccer/psl/new-nfd-club-ubuntu-has-strong-grassroots-links-10399560

Bitcoin Averts Split Into Two Currencies

Digital currency bitcoin on Friday averted a split into two currencies after its network supported an upgrade to its software that would enhance its ability to process an increasing number of transactions.

Bitcoin’s miners have signaled their support for the so-called Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 91, avoiding a split of bitcoin into two blockchains. The miners represent a network of computer operators who secure the blockchain or a public ledger of all bitcoin transactions

BIP 91 is the first step toward a larger effort to upgrade bitcoin through a software called SegWit2x. On Friday, the support for BIP 91 reached nearly 100%, exceeding the required threshold of 80%, according to analysts and market participants.

Some investors have warmed to bitcoin, wooed by its explosive performance and potential to compete with gold and government-issued money as a means to store value. Demand for bitcoin has grown in eight years to a market capitalization of more than $40 billion.

But fears about the bitcoin split dampened demand for bitcoin in recent weeks. After hitting record high near $3,000, bitcoin dropped as low $1,830 on the Bitstamp platform. On Friday, it traded at $2,647.

For more about bitcoin, watch:

The software upgrade attempts to address the bitcoin network’s limitations in processing millions of daily transactions. Bitcoin’s network has not kept pace with its growth and is unable to process all the transactions fast enough.

“BIP 91 unleashes the next wave of innovation because it has been a little bit stagnant of late for bitcoin,” said Rob Viglione, co-founder of ZenCash, a digital coin focused on privacy and security.

Before BIP 91’s endorsement, some bitcoin investors feared it could split into two independent currencies because core developers of the network and the miners each wanted different ways to increase bitcoin’s scale.

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A compromise between the two groups has been reached through SegWit2x.

“Bitcoin now has a clear run to add features that allow for faster transactions with lower costs,” said Charles Hayter, chief executive officer of digital currency analytics firm Cryptocompare.

The upgrade to bitcoin’s network will not occur until autumn, said Viglione, because several things need to happen before the new software is activated.

Market participants have complained about the delay in transactions. Analysts say a single bitcoin transaction costs on average 83 U.S. cents to execute, which means micropayments are not feasible on the network.

The network is also limited to roughly seven transactions per second. In comparison, Visa on average handles 2,000 transactions per second.

Article source: http://fortune.com/2017/07/21/bitcoin-split-two-currencies/

New NFD club Ubuntu has strong grassroots Links | IOL

Although he is a former Bafana Bafana captain, Links faces his biggest challenge as a coach after being placed in charge of new Cape NFD club, Ubuntu Cape Town.

The football face in the Mother City is changing. The old look, featuring traditional clubs which were almost indigenous to the region, is fading. Vibrant, ambitious new clubs are determined to grab a foothold in a market that is desperate for something new, something different.

Last year, Cape Town City did so in the top-flight PSL. Now, there’s a new kid on the block in the lower-tier NFD, with the arrival of Ubuntu.

Earlier this month, the Ubuntu Football Trust purchased FC Cape Town – and the new club will soon test the waters in the professional ranks. Michael Jenkins, a co-director at Ubuntu, gave some insight into the club.

“The Ubuntu Football Academy started in 2011 and for the past seven years it has been working with Fish Hoek FC as the grassroots partner,” said Jenkins. “It is a non-profit organisation, which also includes a schools mentorship programme. It has about 90 youth players from Under-12 upwards.

“We recognised that the final development stage of an aspiring footballer is exposure to the professional game.

“We always had an eye on getting into this sphere of the sport. So when the opportunity arrived to purchase the NFD franchise of FC Cape Town, we grabbed it. It provides us with a professional platform and the chance to implement our vision.”

Ubuntu use the Athletes’ Development Centre at Villager Rugby Club in Brookside, Claremont, for their conditioning and sports science needs, and train at the Groote Schuur High Sports Complex.

Links has mostly worked in youth football, at the Old Mutual Academy and Ajax Cape Town. His top-level experience was as Roger de Sa’s assistant at Ajax. Now Links has an opportunity to make his mark as a head coach.

“We inherited 14 players from FC Cape Town and we are in the process of adding to the squad,” added Jenkins. “We have signed Bukhosi Sibanda, who was the top scorer in the Zimbabwe Premier League, while we are also excited to have Ethan Sampson returning to Cape Town. Ethan came through the African Soccer Development Academy in the Cape and played for Vancouver Whitecaps in the American MLS.

“We will also be promoting a few of our own youngsters. It is an opportunity for them to develop, though we are aware of the need to bring them on slowly rather than throw them in at the deep end.”

Considering the difficulty of the competitive NFD, what are Ubuntu expecting from their debut season?

“We are not thinking about promotion at this stage,” said Jenkins. “The focus is on people, process and structure. We want to be competitive, but the top priority at the moment is to get the structures right. We want to make sure that we build the right foundation and, I think if we get success with the process and the people, and we build the right culture, we could even surprise ourselves.”

Ubuntu will be joined in the NFD by three other Cape representatives, Cape Town All Stars, Milano United and Stellenbosch FC. Santos were relegated from the league last season.

Cape Times

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Article source: http://www.iol.co.za/sport/soccer/psl/new-nfd-club-ubuntu-has-strong-grassroots-links-10399560

What’s Next for Bitcoin After Digital Currency Split Is Averted

With the bitcoin development community embracing a software upgrade known as SegWit2x that aims to increase the network’s transaction capacity, a split of the cryptocurrency appears to be avoided. As proponents of the change celebrate, here’s what some have to say about what may be next.

Adam White, head of cryptocurrency exchange GDAX

“We’re going to see greater utility of the network. Now people can use bitcoin as a way to transit value more easily, more quickly, more cheaply. And that tends to attract in new users to the network.”

“Going forward, there will probably be open-blockchains like bitcoin, which tends to move more slowly or conservatively, but there will be other blockchains like ethereum that may move more quickly and introduce a larger surface area for developers to build on top of. I think both of those things complement each other, not compete with each other.”

Matthew Werner, head of payments engineering at Coinbase

“It’s a great step for bitcoin. There were a lot of question marks, obviously this has been in contention for quite some time now, but reaching consensus for how to scale bitcoin further is a huge step, clearly. SegWit activating and allowing things like Lightning Network is going to be huge for allowing more activity with existing user base, and down the line once we start to expand the blocksize, we’ll be able to expand the number of users on the network.”

“The fact BIP91 came through is a good signal that everyone wants to be growing this network further. And there’s a lot of ways that it’s accomplished, but the fact there is way forward is encouraging. You’ll never know what happens between now and a few months down the line, in the cryptocurrency space especially, but I’m encouraged everything we saw in the past few weeks. A lot of question marks are starting to get answers.”

Alex Sunnarborg, a research analyst at Coindesk

“The BIP91 lock-in would be extremely significant for bitcoin and one of the first steps towards scaling the network. Work and discussion around ‘scaling bitcoin’ has been ongoing for years -– with the first dedicated conference around the topic beginning in 2015.”

“After BIP91 locks in, approximately two weeks later SegWit should go live. Beyond that, there is still risk that bitcoin could split into different chains supporting different maximum block sizes (like a SegWit 1MB chain and a SegWit 2MB chain).”

Read more about how bitcoin and blockchain work.

Elizabeth Stark, head of startup Lightning Labs

“Bitcoin doesn’t have a Turing-complete language like ethereum, but there are some new interesting things that will enable to do be done once SegWit is implemented.”

She gave a few examples:

  • microtransactions like less than 1 cent, which could replace ad networks (similar to this ICO)
  • instant-transaction confirmations in milliseconds
  • the ability to connect bitcoin and ethereum blockchains
  • Basically, bitcoin could get a bunch of its own ICOs (almost all ICOs to date are built on ethereum)

— With assistance by Lulu Yilun Chen

    Article source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-21/what-s-next-for-bitcoin-after-digital-currency-split-is-averted

Ubuntu Cape FC snap up Sibanda – SuperSport – Football

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Click here to go the home page or click an individual sport below.

Article source: https://www.supersport.com/football/national-first-division/news/170721/Ubuntu_Cape_FC_snap_up_Sibanda

Bitcoin price nears record high after scaling debate ‘milestone’

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Bitcoin nears record high price after 'milestone' in fierce debate over its future


Bitcoin traded near its all-time high price late on Thursday after the intense debate over the cryptocurrency’s future appears to be heading to a positive end.

The price of bitcoin hit a high of $2,948.51 on Thursday evening, just shy of the record high $3,025.47 reached on June 11, according to data from CoinDesk.

While the price pulled back over the next couple of hours, it is significantly higher than the $2,294.40 handle it began trading at on Thursday morning. Bitcoin has taken a hit in recent days because of the uncertainty over its future.

What’s been going on?

Within the bitcoin community, a so-called “scaling debate” has been going on. There is a big backlog of transactions on the bitcoin blockchain — the technology that underpins the cryptocurrency. That’s because the bitcoin code only allows a certain number of transactions through in one “block”.

To understand this, it’s important to outline how transactions work. Transactions by users are gathered into “blocks” which is turned into a complex math solution. So-called miners, using high-powered computers work these solutions out to determine if the transaction is possible. Once other miners also check the puzzle is correct, the transactions are approved and the miners are rewarded in bitcoin.

The whole debate has been about the right way to increase the block size, therefore speeding up transactions.

Who’s fighting? 

One faction of miners were supporting a solution called BIP 148, which would induce a “fork” in the blockchain. This would mean there were two separate blockchains and therefore two separate bitcoin tokens.

Another group threw its support behind a proposition called BIP 91, which would introduce something known as SegWit2X to the blockchain. SegWit is short for “segregated witness” which would move some of the data outside the main bitcoin network to increase its capacity. This was received negatively by some miners because it would lead to less fees for them.

But now the miners have accepted the BIP 91 proposal which would increase the block size.

What next?

The new code update called BIP 91 has been locked in with 93.8 percent of miners showing support for the proposal in the last 24 hours, according to Coin Dance, a site which tracks bitcoin blocks.

It is essentially a software update that miners need to run. So 93.8 percent of miners are signaling their intention to run it.

There will now be a two-day grace period for miners to prepare for the activation of BIP 91. Following that, there will be an adjustment period which could take two weeks. The actual increase of the block size might not take place until November.

And there could be some potential issues. For example, one bitcoin developer Bryan Bishop, said that miners might not upgrade their software, even though they are signaling that they will.

And there is still a bit of caution in the market.

“It’s premature to say the worst is over. But we have reached one important milestone down the road in bitcoin scaling. And there are a few more milestones coming up,” Bobby Lee, CEO of BTCC, a bitcoin exchange told CNBC by phone on Friday.



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Ubuntu 16.10 reaches end of life

This is a follow-up to the End of Life warning sent earlier this month
to confirm that as of today (July 20, 2017), Ubuntu 16.10 is no longer
supported.  No more package updates will be accepted to 16.10, and
it will be archived to old-releases.ubuntu.com in the coming weeks.

The original End of Life warning follows, with upgrade instructions:

Ubuntu announced its 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) release almost 9 months
ago, on October 13, 2016.  As a non-LTS release, 16.10 has a 9-month
support cycle and, as such, the support period is now nearing its
end and Ubuntu 16.10 will reach end of life on Thursday, July 20th.

At that time, Ubuntu Security Notices will no longer include
information or updated packages for Ubuntu 16.10.

The supported upgrade path from Ubuntu 16.10 is via Ubuntu 17.04.
Instructions and caveats for the upgrade may be found at:

help.ubuntu.com/community/ZestyUpgrades

Ubuntu 17.04 continues to be actively supported with security updates
and select high-impact bug fixes.  Announcements of security updates
for Ubuntu releases are sent to the ubuntu-security-announce mailing
list, information about which may be found at:

lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-security-announce

Since its launch in October 2004 Ubuntu has become one of the most
highly regarded Linux distributions with millions of users in homes,
schools, businesses and governments around the world. Ubuntu is Open
Source software, costs nothing to download, and users are free to
customise or alter their software in order to meet their needs.

On behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team,

Adam Conrad

Article source: https://www.notebookcheck.net/Ubuntu-16-10-reaches-end-of-life.236290.0.html

Bitcoin nears record high price after ‘milestone’ in fierce debate over its future

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A collection of bitcoin tokens stand in this arranged photograph.

Bitcoin traded near its all-time high price late on Thursday after the intense debate over the cryptocurrency’s future appears to be heading to a positive end.

The price of bitcoin hit a high of $2,948.51 on Thursday evening, just shy of the record high $3,025.47 reached on June 11, according to data from CoinDesk.

While the price pulled back over the next couple of hours, it is significantly higher than the $2,294.40 handle it began trading at on Thursday morning. Bitcoin has taken a hit in recent days because of the uncertainty over its future.

What’s been going on?

Within the bitcoin community, a so-called “scaling debate” has been going on. There is a big backlog of transactions on the bitcoin blockchain — the technology that underpins the cryptocurrency. That’s because the bitcoin code only allows a certain number of transactions through in one “block”.

To understand this, it’s important to outline how transactions work. Transactions by users are gathered into “blocks” which is turned into a complex math solution. So-called miners, using high-powered computers work these solutions out to determine if the transaction is possible. Once other miners also check the puzzle is correct, the transactions are approved and the miners are rewarded in bitcoin.

The whole debate has been about the right way to increase the block size, therefore speeding up transactions.

Who’s fighting? 

One faction of miners were supporting a solution called BIP 148, which would induce a “fork” in the blockchain. This would mean there were two separate blockchains and therefore two separate bitcoin tokens.

Another group threw its support behind a proposition called BIP 91, which would introduce something known as SegWit2X to the blockchain. SegWit is short for “segregated witness” which would move some of the data outside the main bitcoin network to increase its capacity. This was received negatively by some miners because it would lead to less fees for them.

But now the miners have accepted the BIP 91 proposal which would increase the block size.

What next?

The new code update called BIP 91 has been locked in with 93.8 percent of miners showing support for the proposal in the last 24 hours, according to Coin Dance, a site which tracks bitcoin blocks.

It is essentially a software update that miners need to run. So 93.8 percent of miners are signaling their intention to run it.

There will now be a two-day grace period for miners to prepare for the activation of BIP 91. Following that, there will be an adjustment period which could take two weeks. The actual increase of the block size might not take place until November.

And there could be some potential issues. For example, one bitcoin developer Bryan Bishop, said that miners might not upgrade their software, even though they are signaling that they will.

And there is still a bit of caution in the market.

“It’s premature to say the worst is over. But we have reached one important milestone down the road in bitcoin scaling. And there are a few more milestones coming up,” Bobby Lee, CEO of BTCC, a bitcoin exchange told CNBC by phone on Friday.

VeriSign (VRSN) Reveals Q1 Domain Name Registration Numbers …

VeriSign VRSN recently announced that more than 1.3 million domain names were registered in first-quarter 2017.

According to the latest “The Domain Name Industry Brief”, domain name registrations increased 0.4% sequentially to approximately 330.6 million across all top-level domains (TLDs) at the end of the quarter. Domain name registrations increased 11.8 million, or 3.7%, year over year.

Country Code Top-Level Domains (“ccTLDs”) increased 1.7% year over year and 0.3% sequentially to 143.1 million in Mar 2017 quarter. The growth was across all Top-Level Domains (TLDs) as both .com and .net grew during the quarter. On a combined basis, .com and .net domain names improved 0.8% year over year to approximately 143.6 million in the first quarter.

Domain Registration Prospects

VeriSign is the exclusive registrar of the .com, .net and .name domains per its agreements with The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The company is benefiting from strong gTLD prospects. New gTLDs (“ngTLD”) represent 7.7% of total domain name registrations.

Reportedly, new .com and .net registrations were 9.5 million compared with 10 million in the year-ago quarter. VeriSign reported that .com continued to maintain its #1 position as the largest TLD, followed by .cn (China) and .tk (Tokelau).

We believe that increasing domain name registration coupled with price hikes for the .com and .net domain names will drive top-line growth.

VeriSign, Inc. Revenue (TTM)

VeriSign, Inc. Revenue (TTM) | VeriSign, Inc. Quote

Moreover, in order to maintain its growth trajectory, VeriSign needs to keep expanding in the international market, particularly in emerging markets like India and China.

Per a recent study, India’s domain name industry has grown nearly 12% in the last three years compared to the global average of 8.7%. China has also been showing a consistent improvement in ranking, which indicates increased demand for domain name registration in the country.

Security Solutions a Key Catalyst

The company also enjoys strong growth opportunities in the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) security market and the network security products space. Increasing instances of cybercrime have expanded the scope for cybersecurity companies like VeriSign.  

Notably, its shares have massively outperformed the SP 500 on a year-to-date basis. While the index gained 10.7%, the stock returned 29.6%.

However, the negative impact of search engine adjustments on domain monetization remains a headwind.

Zacks Rank Stocks to Consider

Currently, VeriSign has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).  

Better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include XG Technology XGTI , NetEase NTES , and Sabre Corporation SABR . While XG sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), NetEase and Sabre carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth rates for XG, NetEase and Sabre are currently projected to be 20.00%, 17.45% and 9.27%, respectively.

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Article source: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/verisign-vrsn-reveals-q1-domain-name-registration-numbers-cm818773

How To Install Ubuntu And openSUSE Leap From Windows Store On Windows 10?

Short Bytes: Now Microsoft has brought Linux distros like Ubuntu and openSUSE to Windows Store. Users can now simply install Linux distros on Windows 10 machines running latest Insider builds. The installation process is pretty straight forward and involves a few simple steps. Microsoft has said that downloads via Store are more reliable and faster.

In early 2016, at its Build developers’ conference, Microsoft announced the Windows Subsystem for Linux. As a result, after the release of Anniversary Update, users were able to install and run Bash on Ubuntu on Windows 10.

In Build 2017, Microsoft announced that it’ll be adding Ubuntu, openSUSE, and Fedora to Windows Store. It meant that now anybody could open Windows Store, search for Ubuntu, and install Linux on Windows 10 with a single click. This feature is currently available to Windows 10 Fast Ring Insiders who are running Build 16215 or newer. It’ll eventually become available to all users who’ll run Windows 10 Fall Creators Update or later.ubuntu on windows store installation 13

Before going ahead and telling how to install Ubuntu and openSUSE from Windows Store on Windows 10, let me tell you the benefits of this new Windows Store installation mechanism:

  • Linux distro download is faster and more reliable via Store
  • You can now install WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) distros side-by-side
  • You can also run multiple distros simultaneously

So, let’s tell you how to install Ubuntu and openSUSE Leap on Windows 10. The versions which will be installed during this installation are Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus and openSUSE Leap 42.

Ubuntu and openSUSE Leap installation from Windows Store

1. Check your Windows 10 version

As mentioned earlier, for installing Ubuntu and openSUSE from Windows Store you must be running Windows 10 Build 16215 or newer. To do so, you need to open Settings System. After doing so, look for the About option in the left pane and click on it. Here, under Windows Specifications, you’ll be able to spot the OS Build.windows 10 version

If your build is older than 16215, you need to join Windows 10 Fast Ring and download the latest builds.

2. Turn on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

After making sure that your Windows PC is fulfilling all the requirements, you need to turn on WSL. To do so, search for Windows Features in the task bar search box and click on it. There, located the Windows Subsystem for Linux option and check the box. Finally, select OK.

After doing so, you’ll be prompted to restart the PC. So, click on the Restart Now button.

3. Find Ubuntu and openSUSE on Windows Store

Now you need to open Windows Store and search for the distro of your desire. For installing Ubuntu, search for Ubuntu, which is listed with developer Canonical Group Limited. If your OS is supported, it should show the Get button. Click on it to download the OS.ubuntu on windows store installation

For openSUSE, you can search for the same and press Get button to perform the download. For some reason, I was unable to find openSUSE Leap 42 directly by searching on Windows Store. I had to open Microsoft Store in the browser and search there. If you are facing the same issue, you can use this link.opensuse on windows 10

4. Install distros on Windows 10

After the download will get complete, the Get button on Windows Store will change to Launch. You need to click on it to start the installation, which will show the message: “Installing, this may take a few minutes….”ubuntu on windows store installation 9

5. Create Unix username and password

After the installation is completed, you’ll see the “Installation successful” message. You’ll also see the prompt to create new UNIX username and new UNIX password.ubuntu on windows store installation 11

After doing so, your Linux subsystem is ready for use. The process of adding username and password is exactly the same in both Ubuntu and openSUSE Leap.

Below you can see the Ubuntu and openSUSE running on my Windows 10 installation.ubuntu suse on windows 10

You can simply search for Ubuntu or openSUSE Leap in the search box to find the Linux installation on your PC.

ubuntu on windows store installation 6

Here are some basic commands that I ran on Ubuntu on Windows 10:

ubuntu on windows 10 9

Did you find this tutorial of Ubuntu and openSUSE installation from Windows Store helpful? Don’t forget to share your views with us.

Also Read: Windows 10 Support Is Already Ending On Some PCs — Check Your Support Here

Article source: https://fossbytes.com/install-ubuntu-opensuse-windows-store-windows-10/

Bitcoin Surged By $300 in the Past 24 Hours. Here’s Why.

Bitcoin is clawing back toward its all-time high.

The cryptocurrency jumped 15% to $2,628 in trading Thursday, adding about $316 over the course of 24 hours. For comparison, Bitcoin was trading at about $1,863 this past Sunday. Now it’s about 15% off from its all-time high of $3,019 from this past June.

Coincidentally, Bitcoin’s price surge coincided with law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Europe taking out two of the biggest “dark web” operations known to accept Bitcoin and Ethereum Thursday, including online black market Alphabay.

But the surge also comes amid growing confidence in Bitcoin‘s scalability: As the cryptocurrency has grown more popular, processing transactions has become slower and more costly, with some trades lasting days. But in the search for a solution to the problem, Bitcoin’s adherents have split into two factions called Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin Core—both of whom consider their idea the better option, Slate reported.

Part of the reason for Bitcoin’s volatility in recent months comes from a fear that those two factions won’t be able to compromise, effectively forcing Bitcoin into two incompatible cryptocurrencies.

There is hope, however, for compromise—with statistics website Coin Dance showing that this “middle ground” dubbed BIP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal) 91 has about 72% support. It needs roughly 80% support before August 1 to be implemented.

BIP 91 could also help Bitcoin scale its blockchain, a record of all past transactions. As of now, it can only add about 1 megabyte of data every 10 minutes. BIP 91 would introduce an update that would up that limit to 2 MB in about three months. It would also introduce a way to fit in more transactions using that 2 MB of data. This, in theory, would make transactions faster and cheaper.

At the same time, fellow cryptocurrency Ethereum has also bounced back by about $40 since the start of the week, a 26% increase. In general, cryptocurrencies have recovered from their respective dips this week, as fears of a bubble appeared to abate slightly.

At Fortune‘s Brainstorm Tech conference on Wednesday, SoFi’s CEO even voiced his support for Ethereum, which he says has a better chance of being used as a currency than Bitcoin.

Ethereum, though, has dipped over the past 24 hours, falling to about $200 from above $240.

Article source: http://fortune.com/2017/07/20/bitcoin-price-surge/